"Therefore God (ὁ θεὸς) handed them over (παραδίδωμι, aor.) in the cravings of their hearts to dirtiness, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves...." - Romans 1:24
"For this reason God (ὁ θεὸς) handed them over (παραδίδωμι, aor. act.) to dishonourable passions." - Romans 1:26
"And just as they did not approve God, to hold him in recognition, God (ὁ θεὸς) handed them over (παραδίδωμι, aor.) to a worthless mind to do what ought not to be done." - Romans 1:28
In three, quick follow-on sentences, Paul explains the result of our suppressing the truth of God in unrighteousness. God's wrath (v. 18) is revealed presently in our world in how he has actively handed us over to dirtiness (v. 24), to dishonourable sexual passions (v. 26), and to a worthless mind leading to all sorts of evil practices (v. 28). Paul's structure and argument, inspired by the Spirit, are clear.
When we refuse to give God his due, to worship and revere him as the all-wise, all-powerful, all-loving Creator and Source of all things, he actively hands us over to all categories of sins that destroy our lives and ruin our societies and environment. It is just and right for him to do so. We are without excuse (v. 20). Sin is culpable shalom-breaking. Thankfully, Romans chapter 1 isn't the end of the story. I look forward to chapter 3. But we must look at chapter 2 first.
Father, thank you for revealing not only your righteousness in the gospel (v. 17) but also your just wrath against man's sin (v. 18). Help us to recognise that when we turn from you and your ways, we will face just consequences. May we stop going against the grain of the universe as you have designed it. May we humble ourselves and seek you, that we may be found by you and experience a new fresh start through the gospel. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman